KETJAP MANIS: Where can I purchase a good one downtown?
Preferably east of Yonge, west of Parliament, and south of Bloor. Will travel to Kensington Market if it's really good.
I haven't seen it within those boundaries, but you can try Grumbel's Deli just outside Main Subway station (South of Danforth)
290 Main St, Toronto, ON M4C, CA
T&T should have it. In the past, I've seen it downstairs at the St Lawrence (south) Market in the smaller of the spices/sauces stores, but it's cheaper in Chinatown. Look for ABC Brand Ketjap Manis. It is the Heinz Ketchup of Indonesia. It's everywhere there. Which is a funny thing, because Heinz bought the brand.
Most good Asian grocery stores should have it. T&T has it in their location here in Mississauga, so I'm sure they'd have it in their other locations. I've seen a couple of different types of ABC brand, one I think has a blue label, but I always buy the one with the red label. It should cost around $1.50-$2.99 (I can't remember how much I pay...I think it's $1.89, not at T&T). It's great mixed with sambal oelek for a delicious hot and sweet taste.
One tip: don't use Indonesian ketcap manis in a Malaysian recipe nor a Malaysian ketcap manis in an Indonesian recipe. They're not interchangable. Totally different flavour profile.
This was my last experience looking for kecap manis, about a month ago at the Asian grocery store on the east side of Spadina, just north of Dundas.
Me (to third clerk, first 2 passed me off once they heard me speaking English): Do you have any kecap manis?
Me: No (trying hard to pronounce clearly), ke-cap ma-nis.
Him (walks me over to aisle and points to Heinz ketchup).
Me (shaking my head, smiling): No, kecap manis.
New person approaches...
Me: I'm trying to find kecap manis.
Me: No, kecap manis.
Her: Ah, mayonnaise!
Me: No, kecap manis. It's an Indonesian sauce, sort of like a sweet thick soy sauce.
Her (walks me over to another aisle, points to ABC kecap manis): Kecap manis.
Me: Yes, yes, that's it. Thank you so much.
Her (wagging her finger at me somewhat sternly, though not unfriendly): Kecap manis. Not mayonnaise!
Me: Right. Got it. Thanks.
Anyway, always an amusing outing. It was the ubiquitous ABC brand, though I have to say it was a bit different than the way I remembered it from Indonesia - a little thicker, not quite the same taste. Maybe my memory (along with my pronunciation) is failing me. Anyway, good luck on your quest.